Women's Leadership InitiativeQ&A with Elizabeth Arentz

Elizabeth Arentz is an associate in the firm’s Corporate Department. She focuses her practice on real estate as well as estate planning and wealth preservation.

How has your previous experience helped you in your current role at Porter Wright?

My parents own a small manufacturing business and I grew up closely observing everything it takes to run a business, from managing employees to preparing tax returns. Beyond the obvious experience I gained in law school, I believe growing up around a family business unintentionally prepared me for a career in corporate law because I am so naturally familiar with business operations, allowing me to more quickly understand the legal solutions to issues businesses face.

What is the best advice you’ve received about how to be a successful attorney?

Take 10 minutes each day to not think but just breathe. Attorneys are trained to analyze, anticipate and avoid problems, but this level of critical thinking can often be difficult to turn off. I definitely do not follow this advice every day, but on the days that I do, I find myself feeling more balanced, both professionally and personally.

What are the biggest issues women lawyers face?

I think implicit biases are a big issue for women attorneys (as well as many other groups). Shifting an individual’s unconscious beliefs is quite the challenge, but so necessary to correct gender inequality in the workplace.

Complete the sentence: “If I wasn’t an attorney, I would be a…”

Journalist. I am inherently curious—I love getting to know a person’s story. I actually believe there’s significant overlap between law and journalism as both careers emphasize factual analysis and written communication.